Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

pp. 62, 63.

standing always upon his high tower. The “ Builder" must be laying his stones. The “Steward” has his portions to divide. The “ Evan.. gelist” utters his voice. The “ Ambassador traverses sea and land. The “ Angel” has his errands to perform. The “ Minister” or servant must wait upon his master's guests. The “ Soldier” must endure hard

The labourer in God's husbandry ; in his vineyard, and in his harvest ; must " rise up early, and late take rest, and eat the bread of carefaloess.” Even the “Ruler" and the “ Overseer” are not without their trust and correspondent duties ; whilst the “ Elder" has his reverence not for his own sake only, but that he may labour with success “ in the word and doctrine.")

The same conclusion is deduced from considering the great end of the Christian ministry, and the means by which it is accomplished; the end-to glorify God in the salvation of men; the means-directly, by a variety of pastoral exercises, and indirectly by cultivating a becoming spirit and conversation.

« The ministerial office, then,' says Mr. V., in winding up this part of his subject, . is an office of labour. My beloved brethren, let us ask of ourselves severally, Do we find it such ? do we make it such? do we prove it to be such? Do we labour thus in our ministerial exercises, in our personal conduct ? as feeling the inestimable worth of perishing souls, and the responsibility which our high office charges on us ' Rather --are we not all comparatively idlers? Might not the most active and honourable of our brethren justly lie down in shame as unfaithful ?. But there are broad lines of difference in the characters of God's ministers,

There are those who may be truly said to labour, and there are « idol i shepherds.” The slothful minister'; the covetous minister ; the ambitious

minister ; the pleasure-loving minister , the vain, trifling, thoughtless, minister : have these ceased from among us? The Lord convince, convert, heal them! The Lord enable us to examine and prove ourselves, that we be not, at least continue not, in their number !' p. 73.

In proof of his second proposition, the true and faithful minister is of the Lord,' Mr. V. observes, that it is the Lord who makes him willing to undertake the work; who furnishes him with ability to perform it, enlightening his mind with a knowledge of the truth, and enabling him to preserve a consistent conduct; and who rewards his labours with success, The discourse is marked throughout by a fine strain of solemn warning and self-application; and every clergyman would do well to make it the companion of his retired thoughts and meditations.

The third sermon is of a more general nature. The text is Acts iv. 12; “neither is there salvation in any other," &c. . ; '

& from which the preacher takes occasion to explain and inculcate some articles on which he had but slightly touched in the preceding discourses. He points out, in the first place, the

[ocr errors]

of mar..

nature of the salvation bere spoken of, and then proceeds to shew, that this salvation is of Jesus Christ, and of him only. Largely as we have already quoted, we cannot refrain from transcribing the following close and highly evangelical expostulation, whic! occars under the last mentioned consideration.

• Nothing of your own, nothing belonging to any other human being than Christ, can procure salvation for you. What will you be disposed to mention-Will you say. I am righteous ? I have no need of the Saviour you describe

I have committed no sin. I refer you to the former part of my discourse, in which I have spoken freely of the state and character

If man universally be guilty universally depraved, and universally under sentence of condemnation, for his guilt and depravity; as history, experience, conscience, Scripture, testify; universally he has need of salvation : need of something to be interposed between himself and vengeance; much more need of something to be interposed, if he would be entitled to everlasting reward.

• Will you say, I have sinned; but I have performed some works of righteousness, for which God will pardon and accept me? I have been honest and industrious in the work of my calling. I have brought up my family with credit. I have submitted patiently to the various evils of my condition. I have given much alms to the poor. I have been regular in my attendance upon the ordinances of religion. A distinct answer might be given to each of these distinct pleas of merit. Your industry has had its reward. Your submission to pain was for your own comfort: fretfulness wonld but have added to your burden. Your alms-givings were a debt due to society. You was paid in the praise which you received from men, and in te satisfactory emotions in your own bosom. Your attendance upon the ordinances of religion has contributed to yonr respectability, and to your comfort, But it is enough to say universally, these se• veral actions, if really good, were no more than your duty. Our blessed master has taught us to silence every presumptuous suggestion, which might arise in our minds, after the performance of the most faithful, active, and self-denying services, with this consideration ; that the relation in which we stand to 'God is such, as to give him a full claim to all these laborious exertions on our part. He is not our debtor for them. « So likewise

ye shall have done all these things, which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do." But in fact all these good actions are detectire in goodness. It might be shown of every one of them severally, that they are at least short of excellency, if not absolutely sintul.“ All our righteousness are as filthy rags.” We should find universally, that either they have not been performed according to the perfect rule of God's perfect law, or they have not been performed by the principle of faith in Christ, which He alone accepts ; or they have not been performed in the spirit of love to him; or they have not been performed with a single eye to his glory. Not having all these essential requisites of a good action, they have need to be washed in the blood of Christ; to be forgiven, instead of being rewarded.

Will you say, I grant all this, but I repent? I have sinned. I have

ye, when

But I am sorry

[ocr errors]

not been harmless. My good deeds will not save me. for my sin past : I will from hence forth amend my life. This shall be my salvation. You cannot resolve better than to repent. Except you repent, will perish.” “ Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.". But, as you have need of an atonement for sin, so your repentance will not constitute that atouement. Your sorrow for sin past, how imperfect is it! The true penitent's great grief is, that he cannot grieve more. “Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears!” But, were your sorrow perfect ; did it go to the full extent of grief, which sin ought to excite in you; what is its intrinsic worth? What satisfaction does it make to the divine justice ?

• Your intended amendment of life is commendable. But you deceive yourself. You fancy, perhaps, that you shall never more commit sin, Alas! your depravity is not removed with your obduracy, You are still full of infirmity, and will remain so till your death. Your heart is st]]] the saet of many corrupt affections, which will be continually showing themselves with greater and less degrees of activity. But were it otherwise ; could your future obedience be perfect, without spot or blemish; where is the old debt? Perfect obedience to God is no more than you owe Him every day. If you should live for millions of years, you would have no transferrable balance wherewith to liquidate the ancient debt of service. Would a human creditor account himself paid by his debtor's ceasing to increase his debt? He might be disposed to show him further indulgence, but he would account him his debtor still. This again is a very inadequate illustration, although the Scriptures justify us in adopting it. In fact, it is ridiculous to speak of atonement for sin made by such a creature as man. The evil of sin is infinite, Shall I say that man has only a finite satisfaction to offer for it? Alas! all the satisfaction he has to offer is altogether worthless. His sorrow and his amendment are alike imperfect in their degree, and unsatisfying in their nature. In the Lamb of God; and in Him only; we behold that sacrifice of infinite value, which taketh away the sin of the world: that sacrifice which alone can take

away the sin of any one man; yea, any one sin of any one man : that sacrifice, which, by its own proper and unmixed efficacy, is sufficient to take away the collective sins of all men.' pp. 121-127.

Having thus enabled our readers to forın their own judgement on these discourses, we will only add our earnest wish, that they may circulate extensively among all classes and denomivations of Christians, and that the design of their excellent author in the publication, ' a desire of contributing his part, whatsoever it may be, to the glory of God, and the salvation of his fellow sinners,' may be crowned with disa tinguished success.

a

a

Art. XVI. General View of the Agriculture and Minerals of Derbyshire ;

with Observations on the means of their improvement. Drawn up for the consideration of the Boari of Agriculture. Vol. I. containing a full account of the Surface, Hiils. Valieys, Rivers, Rocks, Caverns, Strata. Sois, Mineral, Mines, Colleries, Mining Processes, &c. &c. Illustrated by five coloured Maps and Sections. By John Farey, Sen.

, Mineral Surveyor. 8vo. pp. xlviii. 532. price 12s. Nicols. 1811. SUCH of our readers as may have met with papers from

the pen of Mr. Farey in the Monthly Magazine and Philosophical Journal, will readily imagine, that it is no trifling wdertaking to peruse five-hundred pages of his composition. We hope they will duly appreciate our industry, when we assure thein that we have actually performed this arduous task; but we speak feelingly when we entreat the author to render our work less toilsome, as he proceeds. He has our full consent, when speaking of lead mines, and coal-pits, to employ the under ground language of the miner or the collier; for it is more agreeable to learn even their terms, than to put up with the circumlocutions, which continual explanations would occasion. We are satisfied, too, when he details bis mineralogical and geological observations, that he should give the substances and strata what names he pleases, provided he furnishes us with means to identify them. We value the minuteness with which he enumerates situations, places, &c. even though the detail occnpies pages. But we do most decidedly protest against the disorderly, the slovenly manner in which he flings his koowledge at the public. The work before us contains as valuable observations in geology, as intesesting descriptions in mining, and as acute reasonings in various branches connected with natural history, as any work of the same size we know; bot to get at them the reader must wade through muddy sentences of immeasurable length, now entangled in constructions unknown before to our language, then bewildered in parentheses of which he can find neither beginning nor end; seeking in vain for assistance from punctualion, and stumbling not unfrequently over the coarsest faults against grammar. We wish Mr. F. would consider that he is acting a part most odiously tyrannical, in condemning his readers to run over every sentence half a dozen tinies. It is highly desirable in short, that if he will write (and science would be a loser if he did not) he would write--at any rate in better language than the specimens he has hitherto produced.

Should we be thought too severe in these strictures on 821 on his style we must plead in excuse, that, even in so early a stage as the preface, we met with sentences, one of forty-seven and the other of forty-six lines, as difficult 10 surmount as Derbyshire mountains; that on page first, we saw with astonishment that the county in question “is situated about between the parallels of 52° 38' and 53° 27 of North-Latitude;" that on page second we found that“ its great, est breadth is about from E. N. E. to W.S.W.," in consequence “ of its greatest length being in a direction from S. S. E. to N. N. W.;" that, pushing on, we discovered him at last distinguishing the “ range of the Fault,” “ in every formae," " by a dotted line." p. 120. and that" ironstone balls from Brailsford is a farther confirmation of his opinions," &c. &c.

Having stated our disapprobation of the manner in which Mr. F. gives us bis observations; and just expressing a wish that he had been rather less caustic in bis remarks on his brother geologists; we proceed to the far more pleasant part of our task, and will attempt to give our readers some idea of the matter contained in this highly interesting performance.

Mr. Farey informs us, in the preface, that the observations of which it is the result, were principally made in the years 1807, 1808, and 1809, at the instance of Sir Joseph Banks, and of the Board of Agriculture; and that it is to be looked upon as the first chapter of his report to the Board. He also intimates that the public may expect, at a future period, a more extensive work, with a large geological map, containing a complete detail of the facts which have come under his notice ; and a second volume comprising the continuation of his agricultural report. The principal value of the part which we have on our table, is the precise account which it affords of the stratifications of Derbyshire ; a considerable portion of the remainder being apparently inserted, merely, in compliance with the general directions given by the Board to their reporters.

After mentioning the situation and boundaries, Mr. F. gives a very extensive account of the principal ridges or water-heads, of the bills, and of the valleys, in the county, with their respective strata; which is well, though not very elegantly elucidated by an outline map, indicating the principal eminences, and the direction of the ridges which unite them. It would have been an agreeable and useful addition to this part of the subject, if he had announced the heights of at least some of them..

The second section, enumerates the divisions of the county into hundreds and parishes, and we were glad to notice at the close, a candid acknowledgement of the beneficial effects of

« AnteriorContinua »